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NEWS Last modified on September 17, 2015

FAA grants to help green efforts of 11 US airports

US Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, has awarded $24.5 million in FAA grants to 11 airports around the country to reduce emissions and improve air quality. 

The awards come under the umbrella of the FAA's Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) and Zero Emissions Airport Vehicle (ZEV) programmes.

“These programmes are crucial to our efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions and make our skies and roads more environmentally-friendly,” says US Foxx. 

“The US Department of Transportation is committed to working with airports and communities across the nation to improve air quality and protect the health of future generations of Americans.”

The $23.4 million in VALE grants go to:

Chicago O’Hare ($2 million) – to purchase and install 15 ground power units (GPUs) and pre-conditioned air (PCA) units, which will allow aircraft arriving at overnight parking positions to shut off their auxiliary power units and connect to a clean central heating and cooling system.  

Memphis ($1.3 million) – to purchase and install three GPUs and PCA units.

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall ($2.5 million) – to purchase and install eight GPUs and eight PCAs for passenger gates.

Phoenix Sky Harbor ($1 million) – to install 28 charging stations in Terminal four for electric ground service equipment.

Port Columbus International ($2.7 million) – to purchase and install 13 GPUs and 11 PCAs at passenger gates.

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth ($2.6 million) – to purchase seven clean fuel burning vehicles and a refueling station.

Indianapolis ($3.9 million) – to purchase and install 12 GPUs and 22 stationary pole lights. The stationary pole lights will replace diesel-powered lights and will help illuminate ramp operations on the cargo apron to improve safety and reduce fossil fuel emissions.  

William P Hobby ($1.6 million) – to purchase and install five PCAs and GPUs for passenger gates.

Cleveland Hopkins ($1.1 million) – to install four GPUs and PCAs for passenger gates. 

Beneficiaries in terms of the $955,088 in ZEV grants include: 

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta ($926,789) – to purchase one electric shuttle bus for passenger service from terminal to terminal and fund infrastructure needed to charge the vehicle, including one wireless inductive charging pad and one long-term charging area.

Lambert-St. Louis ($28,299) – to fund four electric utility carts for on-airport emergency services, and other uses.

VALE is designed to reduce all sources of airport ground emissions in areas that do not meet air quality standards.  

The FAA established the programme in 2005 to help airport sponsors meet their air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act.

Through these programmes, airport sponsors can use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) to help acquire refueling and recharging stations, electrified gates, low-emission vehicles, and other airport-related air quality improvements.

The ZEV programme, created through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, allows airport sponsors to use AIP funds to purchase vehicles that produce zero exhaust emissions.  

AIP funds can cover up to 50% of these total project costs. Airport sponsors also can use federal funds to pay for any needed infrastructure construction or modification needed to facilitate the delivery of the fuel and services for these vehicles.

“The FAA continues to award grants for projects with short-term and long-term emissions reductions benefits on or near airports,” says FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta. 

“These airports must be responsible environmental stewards and good neighbours to their surrounding communities.”

Through VALE, airports are reducing ozone emissions by approximately 801 tons per year, which is equivalent to removing more than 44,735 cars and trucks from the road annually.

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